msnbc | February 02, 2013
>>> it's official. john kerry sworn in as secretary of state. duvall patrick has tapped his former top aide, william mo cohen to replace kerry until the june special election . scott brown took his name out of running yesterday. joining me now is frank phillips , who has been covering this story. really quickly before we get to mr. kowan the disappointment
>> about not getting the nod?
>> i think so. vicky kennedy certainly would have loved to have had that job? barney frank made it very public that he wanted it. that killed his chance, frankly, with governor patrick although i didn't think he had much of a chance. patrick , the governor, wanted to make a clear point that he wanted a minority or a woman. i think he'd been focused on moe cowan , who's not known anywhere but with the governor and the state house and the legal community, he wanted to make a statement of an african american there. it was kind of expected. i think we weren't terribly surprised by that.
>> that's because you're an insider. a lot of people don't know who he is. i'm reading stats. he's 43 years old. he's a north carolina native. who is he in terms of his relationship with duval patrick , and what might he be expected to do while in the senate this brief time, about five months or so?
>> he was known in the legal community and some of the big law firms highly respected fellow. governor brought him in, had known him in when they were both lawyers. the governor is a little older, and among african american lawyers, he was nurturing mo cowan along in his career, and this was just another step that he wanted to give mo a good boost here. mo certainly knows state issues. he's not been on the front lines articulating debates or going out and giving speeches. he's going to be a very quiet place holder. it's not going to be barney frank , who would have been quite a dynamic senator for the six months that he would be there.
>> when you say a place holder, is it for certain that mr. cowan has no desire to run for office at any point going forward. i mean, take this and make it as the next step?
>> he made that very clear, and the governor has made it very clear, whoever he was going to appoint would not be a candidate. he did not want that to occur.
>> so what do you expect from his style and how you think he may interact with the rest of the senate? how do you predict that to go?
>> he'll be fine. he's a very bright guy. he knows politics. he's been in the back room, though. he's never been out there in the front. he's not going to get up and make tremendous debates in the senate. he's not going to be making waves . he'll be an interesting character but very quiet, i think, and very -- he'll get the job done, there's no question about that.
>> for the five months that he's there, okay. frank phillips , thank you so much for